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Sweet and sour cherries, blackcurrants for freezing – the EU market overview

EastFruit’s analytical team persists in their diligent surveillance of the European markets for frozen berries and the requisite raw materials for production. Following our comprehensive raspberry market analysis, available here, we now turn our attention to the current landscape and pricing trends for sweet and sour cherries, and blackcurrants destined for freezing.

Sour cherries

The EU’s wholesale market is currently witnessing pitted frozen sweet and sour cherries fetching prices between €1.90 and €2.10, contingent upon their quality. There’s a robust demand for these fruits, with buyers eager to secure or contract these products at prevailing rates – a harbinger of potential price escalations on the horizon.

Just a week prior, Moldovan processors, alongside their counterparts in select Ukrainian regions, initiated procurement efforts for these stone fruits. Moldovan entities are prepared to disburse approximately €0.60 to €0.75 per kilogram. Despite this, the fresh market’s higher bid means these fruits predominantly grace the fresh produce aisles, leaving the freezing industry’s bulk purchasing aspirations unfulfilled for the time being. Export prices for fresh sour cherries in Moldova hover around €0.90 to €1.10 FCA, directly from orchards or storage facilities.

Sweet cherries

The season commenced a fortnight ago, marked by premium prices reflective of the fruits’ exceptional quality. Export-oriented farmers meticulously harvested and packaged the finest sour cherries. However, the subsequent deluge in Moldova inflicted considerable damage on the orchards, leading to moisture-laden, split cherries. This predicament has prompted numerous growers to pivot towards the processing market, albeit with an expectation of prices that offset the manual labor costs of cherry picking – estimated at 7-8 lei (€0.36 to €0.42) per kilogram.

Read also: Uzbekistan boosts imports of raspberries for freezing from Tajikistan responding to Russian demand

Blackcurrants

The blackcurrant has captured the attention of EU freezers and importers alike. The going rate for top-tier blackcurrants has soared to €1.7-1.8 per kilogram. This year, Ukrainian cultivators find themselves at the cusp of a lucrative opportunity – a rare occurrence that presents itself once every few years. In theory, growers could command anywhere from 25 to 30 UAH per kilogram from the freezing sector. Nonetheless, the ongoing hostilities and the associated risks to Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure might compel processors to err on the side of caution, potentially leading to more conservative pricing offers.

In Moldova, the cultivation of blackcurrants is minimal, leaving the pricing structure in its infancy and open to speculation. Furthermore, preliminary reports suggest a less than anticipated yield of blackcurrants in Poland this year, which could further fuel price increments.

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